By David Brand
All Pro defensive back Devin McCourty has shifted his focus from the locker room to the courtroom.
McCourty, a star corner for the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, will host a forum on prosecutorial policies and criminal justice reform with all seven Democratic candidates for Queens District Attorney at the Museum of the Moving Image Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
McCourty is a member of the Players Coalition, a nonprofit organization made up of NFL players who advocate for justice reform and improved community-police relations. The Players Coalition was co-founded by Anquan Boldin, a former New York Jets wide receiver, and Malcolm Jenkins, a safety for the Philadelphia Eagles. The organization counts at least 10 other NFL players as task force members, including Jets quarterback Josh McCown.
“For the first time in more than 25 years Queens County voters will elect a new DA. From sentencing to what crimes to prosecute to police accountability, the next Queens County District Attorney will hold tremendous power in the local justice system,” McCourty said in a statement. “That’s why we’re hosting this forum — to hear directly from the DA candidates on critical justice reforms and how they plan to improve public safety and create a fairer justice system in Queens.”
The Players Coalition provide grants to national organizations focused on juvenile justice and bail reform, police accountability and education equity.
“Our priority is to ensure grantmaking efforts are focused and impactful in accelerating systemic change and elevating the work of key grassroots organizations providing direct services, rather than becoming too broad and diluted by overextending our reach,” the Players Coalition writes on its website.
The organization also negotiated with the NFL to direct about $100 million to causes and organizations that benefit African-American communities, ESPN reported last year.
Public defender Tiffany Cabán, Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilmember Rory Lancman, retired Judge Greg Lasak, former Civilian Complaint Review Board Director Mina Malik and former state Attorney General’s Office prosecutor Jose Nieves are running for the Democratic nomination for Queens DA and are scheduled to attend the forum. Attorney Betty Lugo was invited but has not yet confirmed her attendance as of 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The primary is June 25.